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Part of buying a new car is deciding where to shop for it. Though many people are resigned to visiting a dealership to work with salespeople and test drive vehicles, buying a car through an online marketplace is an increasingly popular choice. Both options have their benefits and drawbacks. Depending on your buying style, one might suit you better.
The biggest difference between buying a car online versus going to the dealership is the shopping experience. Generally, you’ll likely choose to shop online if your priority is getting the best bargain. But if you prefer ease and getting through the process quickly, visiting a dealership may be your best bet.
Buying your car online is a good choice if you like choosing from a variety of options and being confident you’re getting a good deal. You don’t even have to leave the house to narrow down your search. When you shop online for a car you can:
If you don’t like doing online research or would prefer to talk face-to-face with someone about your options, making a trip to 1 or 2 car dealerships can help you compare your options. By going to a dealer you could benefit by:
The differences between shopping for a car online versus in person balance each other out. You may find the best option using both methods by taking time to compare cars and possible financing options online and then visiting a dealership with an exact plan for negotiating confidently with a salesperson.
The benefits of shopping online can vary based on the website you’re using. Each one is different, and one might suit your needs more than another. Here are some sites to get you started on your journey towards finding the right vehicle:
There are plenty of other websites geared to helping you buy a new or used car. Take your time browsing online offers so that you can find the best deal.
If you want the ease of shopping online but still want to work with a dealership, you can email the sales team at multiple local dealerships for quotes. And if you’re already preapproved for a car loan, mention that as well. It can get the ball rolling on negotiations if you’re interested in financing through the dealership.
Your email doesn’t have to be extensive. Simply provide a little bit of information to get started:
One of the major benefits of email is the ease of communication. You can send one to each dealership you’re interested in — allowing you to quickly compare offers and find a deal with pursuing.
Getting a loan through a dealership involves less work, but you typically get your funding in less time if you use an online company.
There are benefits to buying your car both online and at a dealership. In general, shopping online can help you get a great bargain, while visiting a dealership tends to benefit people who prefer an easy, straight forward process. A good tactic may be to use a combination of both online and in-person resources to get the most out of the 2 approaches and make sure you get the best deal.
Looking for a place to start? Check out our guide to car loans to equip yourself with the knowledge you need to get financing that will get you on the road faster.
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